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Engineers develop new type of wearable device

mi-zhang_lgMuch has been written about the growing popularity of wearables to track one's health behavior and activities. Now, engineers at Michigan State University, in collaboration with Bell Labs, have developed a new kind of device that they say is less intrusive and can more easily protect privacy than currently available ones.

A recent MSU Today article reports:

The way it works, [Mi Zhang, PhD,] said, is radio waves from two small antennas, which can be placed on the shoulders, are bounced off the patient’s head, capturing movements of the mouth and head caused by eating, drinking, coughing and speaking.


"Existing technology often uses cameras and microphones to measure this, which can track your voice as well as others around you. This [device] offers a lot more privacy," said Zhang.

The researchers note that information from the wearable can be transmitted to a health-care provider and used to gauge a patient's social or emotional well-being. They are continuing to test the device, called HeadScan, and hope that it will be "available for practical use within the next couple of years."

Previously: What needs to happen for wearable devices to improve people's health?Malaria protection in wearable form and Genetic research now integrated into Stanford's MyHeart Counts app
Photo by G.L. Kohuth/MSU Today

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